Sponsored Post: Gymtime Place in Scarsdale

The Gym Class Where Little Tots Love to Laugh & Play

March 31, 2015

Gymtime is the kind of place where everybody knows your name. Originally founded by Edgemont mom, Linda Yoon, over 12 years ago, it was launched with the idea to create a community-like gathering place for moms isolated at home with young children — and give children an outlet for all of their energy. Today, Linda’s sister-in-law, Emily Yoon, still greets every single parent and child to the tumble and sing classes with a big smile and a genuine hello.

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As a mom of three, I know how expensive children’s classes can be and the value that Gymtime Place offers families is unmatched in the area. The program is an unlimited format gym class where children, from infancy to 5 years old, can run, tumble and sing at a class every day for a flat fee.

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In a sun-filled gymnasium, the classes follow an age-appropriate format of free play, welcome song, and a daily “surprise” which consists of instruments, hand puppets, scarves, and the like, that stimulate and entertain the kiddos, while Emily sings their favorite songs with them. Up next is a special physical obstacle that the children can partake in, followed by parachute play time, bubbles and a good-bye song complete with fun stamps for all.

The mommy and me classes are scheduled by age, and there is about a 50/50 mix of moms and caretakers. The program is flexible if your kids are a few months younger or older than the others, and no one minds if your newborn naps in their stroller off to the side.

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When my twins were little, Gymtime was my saving grace. I currently take my energetic 18-month old son who absolutely loves it. Not only does it tire him out from all the running and jumping, but he loves the singing and introduction to instruments, books and other props used in the class. Emily’s contagious energy and love for the kids is what truly creates the sense of family at Gymtime, something that is hard to find at most kids’ programs.

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This spring’s session is priced at $325 and runs from March 23 – June 11. Those enrolled can attend up to 1 class/day, but no worries if you want to stay for an extra session (there is no class on Tuesdays). They also offer an early bird and sibling discount for all sessions. Mention Wee Westchester and receive $25 off when you enroll for the spring 2015 session. 

Gymtime birthday party packages are available starting at $375 for an hour and half of fun and pizza.

Gymtime Place, Scarsdale Congregational Church, 1 Heathcote Road, Scarsdale; 914-948-1868. There is a parking lot located across the street from the church. 

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Where Bowling Meets The Bar

Is it possible that bowling is cool again?

March 30, 2015

I tend to associate bowling alleys with stale nachos, greasy men with beer bellies, and threadbare rugs riddled with crumbs. Ew. But there’s a whole new bowling alley in White Plains.

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Bowlmor, a national bowling entertainment company that opened its first alley in Greenwich Village in 1938, has elevated the once modest White Plains bowling alley. From the moment you step inside, you notice the difference, from the gorgeous wide plank herringbone wood floors to the mid-century crystal chandeliers. (Seriously, in a bowling alley!)

The bowling lanes are lit up in blue, the lighting is nightclub dim, and on the lower floor, where the glow-in-the-dark club vibe persists, there is a beer pong table, a full bar and overstuffed leather armchairs. (There’s also cheeky sayings on the walls, like “Let’s pretend this never happened.”) Movies like Wayne’s World and Back to the Future are projected onto the walls above the bowling lanes.

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Families will head upstairs for a more kid-friendly vibe and much improved food, thanks to Bowlmor’s full menu. Kids will love ordering the giant (and I mean, GIANT) 5-pound, 14-inch round “Behemoth Burger” and slicing it up among several friends, or the “Coney Mega Dog,” a two-foot long hot dog made for sharing. I preferred the Southwestern salad with its black beans and corn, although I can’t say is much healthier since it’s smothered in dressing.

There’s a lounge with a long black leather banquette for a pre-game drink, two floors of renovated lanes, and an extensive arcade with some of the coolest virtual games. When my husband climbed into a Star Wars spaceship to battle the bad guys, he came out giddy — and dizzy. There’s even a giant claw where kids (and kids at heart) can try to grab one of the oversized stuffed animals. (Honestly, the arcade is as cool as the bowling!)

Bowlmor, 47 Tarrytown Road, White Plains; 914-948-2677

Hop to the Bunny Breakfast

Here's a chance to meet the big furry rabbit.

March 25, 2015

Head to The Westchester mall this Saturday, March 28th from 8:30am to 10am to have breakfast with the Easter Bunny. There will be bagels, croissants and juice from Au Bon Pain, and little ones can shake the bunny’s paw, maybe even shake their booty, since there will be a DJ on hand.

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Kids will love the crafts and games, and there are some fun giveaways to enjoy as well. To attend, you must be a Kidgits Member (a kids club organized by the mall), but it’s only $5 to join. Call 914-421-1333 to make reservations; the event will be held in the food court on level 4.

 

Smart Solutions for Organizing All of Those LEGOs

How many times have you stepped on and cursed those darn little bricks?

March 23, 2015

Like most 5-year-olds, my son is obsessed with LEGOs. He’s got about a dozen sets tossed together in a bin in his playroom. But when he’s focused on building something, his go to strategy is to dump all of the LEGOs to find it.  Translation: Pain in the neck clean up for me.

I loved this video since it offers a couple of super creative solutions for organizing the bricks in a kid-friendly way. Take a look. Brill! Thanks, Hooplaha.

Baby Farm Animals!

Visiting the new lambs at Muscoot Farms is a great way to usher in the spring.

March 20, 2015

By Nancy Fann-Im, a freelance writer and editor who blogs at trippyplaces.com.
What’s the antidote to a long, hard winter? Baby farm animals! We went up to Muscoot Farm in Katonah on Sunday, after hearing that two lambs had just been born there. It turns out that one arrived last week, while the other had been born just that morning! My kids were enchanted and so was I – they were beyond cute, the week-old one napping and the day-old one barely able to stand on his wobbly legs.
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Mid-March is actually a great time to bundle up and head over to Muscoot. The animals are cozy in their respective “houses,” and with temps warming up, it’s nice to just be outside again. Dress the kids in rain boots instead of snow boots, though – the snow may still be on the ground, but it’s melting quickly and there’s muddy paths and huge puddles everywhere. Which, of course, is part of fun!
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Muscoot Farm, 51 Route 100, Katonah; 914-864-7282

Brooklyn Fitness Guru (and now, Westchester Mom) Offers Classes in Dobbs

Meghan Covington's yoga, cardio and strength training classes helped our writer stay in shape.

March 18, 2015

By Lucy Baker, who lives in Irvington with her husband and toddler son and blogs at cheatingvegan.com.

When I was pregnant with my son, I worried a lot about how motherhood would impact my life. Would I be able to keep up breastfeeding when I went back to work? Would my husband and I ever go out to dinner again? How was I going to walk our dog and carry a baby at the same time?

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But one of my biggest concerns of all was how I was going to make time for exercise. A devoted runner, I was used to logging five or six miles first thing in the morning, pretty much every single day. Exercise was my way of taking care of my body — and my mind. How was I going to make room for it once the baby arrived?

One sweltering August day, I expressed my concerns to the other expectant parents in our newborn care class in Brooklyn. Almost instantly, another mom-to-be piped up with tons of reassuring advice and tips. It was Meghan Covington, the owner of Mind Body Fitness NYC, which provides in-home personal training and private yoga sessions — with a special emphasis in pre- and postnatal fitness.

Here’s the exciting news: Meghan moved to Dobbs Ferry last month, and she’s bringing her fitness repertoire here to Westchester.

In addition to private sessions, she is offering two great group classes at Pilates and More. The first is a BYOB (bring your own baby) prenatal/postnatal class combining yoga, cardio, and strength training, designed to help mamas “reclaim their bodies” (ahem, special emphasis on pelvic floor control). The second is a toddler yoga class for kids 18 months to 3 years. They learn fundamental movement skills through yoga, dance, and creative play.

I recently caught up with Meghan, who shared five great tips for new moms anxious to get back to exercise:

  • Use nap time wisely. My daughter is now 2, and I still sneak in workouts during her nap time.  All you need is a good 30 minutes and some basic cardio/body weight exercises to break a sweat in your living room. It can help with weight management, strength, and energy level.
  • Connect with other moms.  Teaming up with other moms is a great way rediscover your motivation.  Whether it is taking a brisk walk or attending a mommy/baby class, the exercise and social time can work wonders on your mind and body.
  • Ask for help.  Your partners, family, nannies, and friends are all there to support you on this journey. Sometimes mothers feel guilty asking for help.  You deserve time on your own to exercise, read a book, or just take a hot shower!
  • Include baby in your workout.  If you have having trouble finding alone time, then exercise with baby! In my classes the little ones are always part of the action, and they love it. Have you ever tried doing a squat while holding your 10 pound bundle of joy?  Fun for baby, and great for your booty.
  • Do it for your baby.  Living a healthy lifestyle is even more important when you become a parent.  Regular exercise sets a good example for your little one as they grow, and it keeps YOU happy and healthy. Every kid deserves a happy and healthy mom.

Mention you saw this on Wee Westchester and receive 10% off of group classes and 30% off of 5 Packs of in-home sessions, with an expiration date of 5/1/15.

I Miss My Flip-Phone

And why a Time Magazine article says smartphones may make for bad parenting.

March 16, 2015

It was my husband’s idea. We read this article in Time Magazine that detailed just how much kids today are effected by parents on their smartphones. Boston Medical Center researchers found that parents who are on their smartphones a lot are crankier than parents who spend less time on their phones. Researchers also observed some startling behaviors: There was the kid who tried to literally lift her mother’s face away from her smartphone to get her attention (her mother never broke eye contact from the screen) and another who kicked at his father who was distractedly pecking away on his phone. Have I ever done something similar to my son? Have I ever been so wrapped up in a text thread or responding to a work email that I put my child’s needs second? Gulp. Probably.

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“Let’s go get flip-phones,” my husband declared, after reading the article himself. We’d still have texting capabilities and we’d have an iPad in the house for designated email checking times, but the point is that we wouldn’t be whipping out our phones at any given moment, i.e. while waiting on a Starbucks line, while stopped at a red light, while our kids colored in the next room. We would be less distracted, more in tune to the present moment, more likely to strike up a conversation with each other.

We called AT&T Wireless to find out what we needed to do to make the switch. Bad news: Getting said flip-phone (yes, the one from the 90s) was actually going to cost us a few hundred dollars, maybe more, because we had to pay outright for the Apple iPhones we’d sprung for with our current plan. It made us long for those flip-phones even more. Suddenly, they were a symbol of a simpler time.

We might investigate picking up a flip-phone on eBay, but until then…here’s the plan for our tech diet: We have a designated spot in the house where we’re going to stash our phones while we’re at home. The ringer is on, texting alerts are not. If the phone rings, we’ll open the drawer and answer. At designated “phone” time, I’ll check my email once or twice a day and respond to texts. Otherwise, our phones are staying in that drawer — no constant checking of email, no googling of anything that comes to mind (“Who sang that song again?”) and no mindless surfing on People.com (well, for me, anyway!). We sorta feel like our smartphones are ruining our brains, so we’ll see if this helps. We did this all day yesterday, and it felt really freeing.

I’m curious: Would you ever go back to a flip-phone — and if not, have you made “house rules” for your smartphone?

Sunshine in a Bottle

Clarins New Glow Booster Drops are the perfect perk

March 14, 2015

This winter kicked my butt and my skin. I recently picked up Clarins Golden Glow Booster and over the past few days, it has given me just enough ‘glow’ in my previously pale complexion. What’s different about Clarins’ new product is that you mix into your moisturizer. So, you still get the hydrating/anti-aging/sunscreen effects your moisturizer gives you plus an added glow that’s not streaky or fake-looking.

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The saleswoman told me it was just for my face, but the package states it can be used on face and body. Just add 3 drops (more or less depending on desired effect) to your moisturizer and apply as normal, remembering to wash your hands after.

It’s a great pick-me-up after a long winter, and ideal if you’re going away or trying to keep a little color you luckily picked up somewhere sunny.

The March Happy List

Places to go, Things to See and What To Do this Month

March 11, 2015

Woohoo! Spring is officially 9 days away! Here’s the March Happy List and what we’re excited about…enjoy!

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It’s maple sugaring season! Teatown Lake Reservation is running their Sugaring Sundays program this month where you can learn how to tap maple trees to develop delicious maple syrup with their naturalists. The last day is 3/15 at 1pm, 2pm and 3pm. At Muscoot Farm, the evaporator is cooking and sap is boiling! Their free maple sugar program is also this Sunday, 3/15, from 11am-2:30pm. Both free.

Your little musical munchkins will love the Musical Adventures Concert Series at Concordia College on March 14th at 11am. Tailored towards little ones ages 3-10, the 45 minute concerts are performed by Concordia Conservatory faculty. Tickets are $7.50 for kids/seniors and $15 for adults.

March 17 is St. Patty’s Day! Quick short list on parades: White Plains starts at noon on the 14th and Mount Kisco starts at 2pm on the 14th. Sleepy Hollow-Tarrytown’s is the 15th with kick-off at 1:30, and the Eastchester Parade is at 3pm on the 15th.

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St. Gregory the Great PreSchool in Harrison is hosting its 8th Annual Children’s “Spring Fling” Carnival on Saturday, March 21st at 10am. Inflatable rides, games arts & crafts, food, music and prizes will bring fun for the whole family.

Magician Sammy Cortino comes to The White Plains Performing Arts Center on March 21st at 8pm with his spellbinding acts of magic with a side of rock n’ roll. Think never-before-seen feats like cutting and restoring a cable on a working guitar before jamming to bluesy rock tunes. Tickets start at $25.

The Lower Westchester Moms of Multiples Club will host their annual tag sale on Sunday, March 22, from 10am-1pm at the Tuckahoe Community Center. Known for their quality controlled new or like-new items, expect to find deals on clothes, nursery decor, infant gear, strollers, high chairs, toys, books and anything else you can think of for kids of all ages. Cash only and no strollers inside due to space restrictions.

Calling all princess fans! Disney Live! presents Three Classic Fairy Tales at the Westchester County Center with shows March 26-29. Get your tickets here.

 

The 411 on Hormonal Headaches

Neurologist, Dr. Kristen Sahler, of Scarsdale Medical Group, breaks down the aches for us

March 9, 2015

This post was brought to you by Scarsdale Medical Group

At some point in your life, you’ve probably dealt with hormonal headaches. Defined by Scarsdale Medical Group’s Neurologist, Dr. Kristen Sahler, as “a headache triggered by a shift in hormones,” our bodies are more susceptible to these types of headaches when going through a hormonal change be it getting your period, ovulation, pregnancy or menopause.  Here Dr. Sahler breaks down the facts and what you can do to prevent and alleviate hormonal headaches.

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Migraines vs. Tension

A tension headache, the garden-variety headache, is less severe than a migraine and typically involves an aching all over the head, frequently associated with dehydration at the time of your menstrual period. A migraine headache is characterized by severe pain. According to Dr. Sahler, “one can’t really carry on day-to-day activities with a migraine. In addition to a strong throbbing usually on one side of the head, you feel nauseated and quite sensitive to light and noise.” Migraines can run in families, but you don’t need a family history of headaches to develop them yourself. Dr. Sahler does point out that  even women who have never experienced hormonal headaches may still do so with a new life change such as menopause.

Natural Ways To Prevent

The most important thing you can do to help prevent hormonal headaches is to take better care of yourself. Most of these are no brainers, but are really important if you suffer on a regular basis.

  • Get a “good” amount of sleep. What’s good for you is different from someone else.  Dr. Sahler herself admitted to needing 9 hours of sleep while others can manage just fine with 5-6 hours.
  • Avoid too much caffeine (which can trigger headaches) and make sure you are drinking enough fluids. When you grab water for your kids when heading out the door, make sure you have some for yourself too.
  • Exercise! 30 minutes of moderate exercise (pilates, jogging, etc.) 3 days/week has been shown to greatly reduce the frequency and duration of migraines
  • Take vitamins. There are three vitamins that can help prevent headaches: magnesium, Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) and a plant extract, Butterbur. “Research shows these vitamins, when combined, are effective and safe  in preventing headaches,” says Dr. Sahler. Sold in combination pills at some stores (ask your pharmacist for help in finding these), they can they can take up to 2-3 months for the preventative benefits to kick in, although most see a difference by 6 weeks. If you’re pregnant, it is safe to take Magnesium and B2 (Riboflavin) in a dose of 400 mg each, but not the plant extract, Butterbur, as enough research hasn’t been done to ensure safety in pregnancy.

Treatment

If you’re still experiencing hormonal headaches, Dr. Sahler recommends taking a combination analgesic such as Excedrin Migraine or Advil Migraine to treat your pain. But beware, “these run the risk of being overused. If taken more than 2 days/week, you could experience rebound headaches,” says Dr. Sahler. If you experience as many as 4 headaches a month, you should see a doctor. You can try simpler meds like Advil or Naproxen, but they don’t work as well as the combination pills. And Tylenol, which is the only safe over the counter headache medication for pregnant women, is typically not effective against migraines. Dr. Sahler recommends seeking out a headache specialist if you’re pregnant and suffering, as there are certain prescription medications that are safe to use and quite effective.

Lastly, when asked about whether applying ice or heat on your head is advised, Dr. Sahler says to “do what feels good.”

Fast Emergency Relief

If you find yourself in a situation when you need immediate relief and your medication isn’t working, a neurologist can perform a nerve block by injecting lidocaine and steroids under the skin near the pain site to provide relief and stop a migraine. “This is also effective for headaches when you need fast relief, say for a big event like your wedding day,” says Dr. Sahler.

Other Options

Many of Dr. Sahler’s patients benefit from acupuncture. While not studied and therefore lacking sufficient data to support any efficacy, some people seem to find relief with acupuncture treatments. Another option is craniosacral therapy which you can receive from Scarsdale Medical Group’s Mind-Body Specialist, Dr. Catherine Isaac. This is an eastern medicine technique involving head massage and relaxation techniques. “I refer many patients with headaches to Dr. Isaac for craniosacral therapy and relaxation techniques.”

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Kristen E. Sahler, MD is a board certified neurologist with specialty training in headache medicine. Dr. Sahler is expert in the diagnosis and management of all neurological conditions, with special interest in migraine headaches, post-traumatic headaches, concussions and post-concussive syndromes. 

The provision of high-quality, personalized health care to Westchester County and New York’s Hudson Valley region has been the mission of the Scarsdale Medical Group for more than 50 years. Their working philosophy of compassion, confidence, and commitment has enabled them to become known and respected by patients and peers throughout the tri-state area.

Scarsdale Medical Group, 600 Mamaroneck Ave, Suite 200, Harrison. (914)723-8100.

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Disney Live! presents Three Classic Fairy Tales at the Westchester County Center

Don't miss this magical performance running March 26-29

March 8, 2015

Step into a world of wonder where dreams come true in Disney Live! presents Three Classic Fairy Tales Presented by Stonyfield YoKids Organic Yogurt at the Westchester County Center, March 26-29.

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Join Mickey and Minnie as they bring the timeless fairy tale adventures of CinderellaBeauty and The Beast, and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to life in a live theatrical experience that is pure magic. With dynamic storytelling, award winning music, stunning costumes and glittering special effects, you’ll dream with the princesses, cheer for their heroes as they conquer evil villains, and be captivated by these spellbinding stories.  There’s a world of enchantment waiting for you right in Westchester County!

Use Offer code FT4X to save up to 40% on tickets*, which can be purchased here. *Restrictions and fees may apply. Valid on select seating and performances.

Westchester County Center, 198 Central Ave, White Plains. 

Celebrate Dr. Seuss’s birthday with some whimsical treats.

Green Eggs & Ham and other goodies inspired by one of our fave authors

March 6, 2015

By Nancy Fann-Im, a freelance writer and editor who blogs at trippyplaces.blogspot.com

Dr. Seuss’s birthday is upon us, and this year it seems as if everyone is celebrating with Seuss-themed treats. My daughter’s kindergarten teacher is making green eggs and ham for her class using a “top secret recipe,” and my friend just brought over a couple of extra Lorax-themed cupcakes that she made for her son’s school.

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The grass is just green icing. To make the Traffula trees, my friend used wafer rolls for the trunk and cotton candy for the treetop. The role of the brown Bar-ba-loots are played by, of course, chocolate Teddy Graham bears.

My daughter’s teacher let me in on her secret for green eggs and ham. She makes a scrambled version, which she finds more palatable for kids, and her trick for getting the green color is to use mashed avocado, at a ratio of one avocado for every dozen eggs. She also lent me her Dr. Seuss-inspired cookbook, which features a recipe that replicates the sunny-side up eggs of the illustrations more closely.

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You just fry the egg on both sides, being careful not to break the yolk, and add a scoop of avocado over the yolk to make it appear green. I used a melon baller to scoop the avocado, but a regular spoon should do the trick. A side of fried ham (or turkey, in our case), sprinkled with parsley, completed the dish, which my kids devoured enthusiastically. Why, I don’t know – they usually complain about all foods green.

I paired the breakfast with the “pink ink drink” from One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish – remember the Yink that likes to wink? The drink was just strawberry smoothie in a repurposed spice jar, but I insisted to the kids that it was real pink ink. It was fun to see them dare each other to try it.

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I kept the Dr. Seuss action going till dessert that evening by creating edible homages to Thing One and Thing Two. It’s super-easy to put together – just layer strawberry Jell-O and whipped cream in a clear cup, then top with blue cotton candy. Apparently cotton candy is an indispensable ingredient when it comes to Seuss-themed recipes.

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For more fun food ideas, check out the Green Eggs and Ham Cookbook by Georgeanne Brennan and Frankie Frankeny. Happy birthday, Dr. Seuss!

Summer Camp Guide 2015

March 4, 2015

It’s March which means it’s time to start thinking about your summer plans! Westchester is chock-full of wonderful summer camp programs for kids of all ages, but we’re super excited about the following programs which offer something special for your little campers, whether they’re extra curious kids, sports enthusiasts, ballerinas or just looking for a summer […]

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Chocolatiers in Training

March 2, 2015

By Nancy Fann-Im, a freelance writer and editor who blogs at trippyplaces.blogspot.com With the home stretch of winter upon us, my ideas for kid-friendly indoor activities have dwindled to an alarmingly short list. But one activity that I’d saved for when things got really desperate turned out to be a big hit with my three-year-old […]

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Make Spring Flowers out of Snow Showers

February 27, 2015

My cousin lives in Rochester, so I can’t complain about the weather down here too much. Recently she posted these adorable pictures of flowers in the snow that she and her 6-year old daughter created. It’s too cute! They simply used water dyed with food coloring in a squeeze bottle to make the flowers. For the rainbow and […]

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12 Indoor Spots for Kids in Northern Westchester

February 25, 2015

Jennifer Garry, who blogs at Cuddles and Chaos, covers Northern Westchester for Wee Westchester.  I don’t know about you, but this winter has kicked my butt. Between the freezing temperatures, the seemingly endless snow and the stomach virus that just won’t go away, I am one burnt out momma. I’ve collected tons of ideas for […]

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